In an important milestone, Urban Utilities is nearing completion on the construction of a new sewage treatment plant as part of its $45 million upgrade to the Somerset sewerage network.

Urban Utilities Project Manager, Andrew Nicholson, said construction of the new state-of-the-art sewage treatment plant on Forest Hill-Fernvale Road at Vernor was nearing completion and the project was approaching the commissioning phase.

“Both the existing Lowood and Fernvale sewage treatment plants are being replaced by pump stations, which will pump to the new central treatment plant in Lowood,” Mr Nicholson said. 

“The project also involves 8km of sewer pipes which have all been laid.”

The upgrade will double the capacity of the local sewerage network once complete.

“The new plant will be capable of treating up to 1.8 million litres of sewage – equivalent to 60 backyard swimming pools – every day,” Mr Nicholson said.

“This is the largest capital works project we’ve ever undertaken in Somerset and it allows for a lot of growth in the region so we’re looking forward to seeing this plant come to life.”

Somerset Regional Council Mayor, Graeme Lehmann, said he was pleased that Urban Utilities was planning well ahead for population growth.

“We’re seeing a lot of people choose to move to the area, particularly since COVID-19. Any small blocks that have been for sale for years have all been snapped up,” Mr Lehmann said.

“This project will future-proof our region, so I’d like to say a big thank you to Urban Utilities.”

Mr Lehmann said it was good to see Urban Utilities supporting the Somerset economy during the plant’s construction, from buying materials from local businesses and employing local labourers, to workers staying at accommodation in the area.

“Firstly, this is a $45 million-dollar project so it’s great to see that amount of money being invested in Somerset,” Mr Nicholson said.

“Also buying and employing locally creates essential jobs and keeps that dollar going around so this is a great boost to our regional economy.”

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